tv [untitled] February 29, 2012 3:30pm-4:00pm EST
constituent, robert leavenson, it is of great importance in my community and i feel you'll continue to press. >> thank you very much. mr. fortenberry is recognized. there you are. >> let me start with a question about egypt. in 1979 as a young person, i entered the sainaid desert in the place where there was fighting. on a twisted pile of rubble and concrete were scrawled the words, here was the war, here is the peace. i was there in a jubilant time. where there was a celebratory atmosphere around the newfound relationship between the united states and egypt. united states has successfully brokered that treaty and the courage to extend their hands in friendship has left us with a stable foundation for piece for the last 30 years between those two countries. now with the latest event that has occurred with the change of
governing structures and a great deal of uncertainty and an unclear commitment to that path of peace, given the deal that we put together and the amount of aid that we've given both to israel but to egypt as well, and now with the affrontry of the egyptian authorities holding -- arresting americans who are simply there to help egyptians, what is the administration's position on potentially suspending the aid package? >> well, congressman, first of all, in all the discussions that we have had and that we are aware of that egypt -- egyptian authorities have had with other countries, they remain committed to the camp david accords, which we think is in egypt's interest and certainly in israel's interest. so we are mindful of the importance of ensuring the continuity of that peace and
stability. and we don't want to prejudge what the new government will do. because i think it is fair to note, there is no government yet. they're in the process of putting in place a government. and the people who are still there but not elected or appointed by the new authorities can't really make decisions. yet there's no president or executive authority yet chosen. i counsel patience, because we first have to get to know who the new government is. we are working hard with different channels to help development relationships with the people who will be in the new parliament, for example. so right now i can report to you that there's an ongoing commitment to preserve the camp david accords. you know, we're having some difficult bumps right now. we're hoping to resolve the ngo situation very soon. then i think we have to take stock of where we are and make a decision based on the facts. >> well, given certain tensions
in the past with our egyptian relationship, i have always argued publicly that it was better to grab the hand of friendship and hold it tighter to work through that. now, it gets a lot more delicate now when there's an unclear pathway to potentially upholding these agreements that have worked so well, not only for the israelis but the egyptians. for decades i'm afraid the international community has taken that camp david accord really for granted. but it is an important pathway for peace. let me turn quickly to the president's large resistance army comprehensive strategy. we voted unanimously in last year's state department authorization act to allow for the deployment of military advisers in the region to bring joseph koenig to justice. i'm concerned multilateral interest is dissipating now. can you comment on this? >> first, i thank you for
authorizing, encouraging such a comprehensive u.s. strategy to bring this murderer to justice. as you know, small teams of u.s. military advisers were deployed in december and january to forward locations in the lra-affected areas. the advisers are working to create more cooperation among regional militaries and enhance their capacity. although there are approximately only 100, we think they are force adders to what is already going on. and we have a clear goal, which is to enable local forces to end the reign of terror. and we think that this small number of u.s. advisers can play an outsized role in bringing about that conclusion. >> regional governments must be able to step in and assume the challenge moving forward. >> yes. starting with regional militaries, but including regional governments. >> let me turn quickly before the time is up to urge you as
well, and i think this came up earlier, to speak on behalf ofn guilty of the crime in iran for witnessing to his faith. now, the last time you were here you talked very forthrightly about your desire, yet struggles, to talk about the need for religious freedom as new democratic ideals arise -- >> i'll let you finish that thought, mr. fortenberry. but we're out of time. go ahead. >> thank you, madam chair. >> you'll have to give her some chocolate, though. >> excuse me? >> he'll have to give you some chocolate. >> oh, no, no. >> going back to my train of thought, i'll try. but to continue to raise his issue as an example of how religious freedom is a natural right that is consistent with the ideals of all humanity. so i just urge you to not only try to save his life, but point to that as to how governments who are looking for more just
human rights, or better human rights conditions and more just forms of governance must treat the issue of religious freedom. >> thank you so much. mr. car doe za is recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. thank you, secretary clinton. great to have you here again. this will be my last year in congress and i hear rumors that it may be your last year as secretary of state. i just want to take this opportunity to thank you for the tremendous service to our country in so many different ways. madam secretary, i want to raise the issue of our ally portugal. i represent a number of portuguese-american residents and i share that heritage. there are a number of issues with regard to the azors and visas and consulates that i'm very concerned about. the consulate in punta del gada is rumored to be on the list for
closure. one of the oraniginal consul la of our nation and something i ask you do everything in your power to preserve. certainly this is a budget discussion today. it's appropriate to discuss it in the budget. the second question i would have is that there are questions of visas that members of -- citizens of portugal would have to go to france in order to obtain certain kinds of permanent immigration visas or green cards to the united states. i understand the number may only be 150. but the relationship that we have with portugal is so important. when the gulf war first started, the original summit was on the azors and in the azors and portugal was the host country. there may not be a better friend to the united states anywhere in the world. and i'd just like to have you discuss that if you can. finally, i will share with you that i was somewhat dismayed a while back when the president indicated in the negotiating
strategy of a reversion back to the '67 lines in israel as part of where he thought it might end up. maybe you could clarify that for me and for everyone. because that is something that i happen to have been in the country when these statements were made. i'm not sure that the '67 lines are defensible or the correct -- there may be adjusted lines. so i'd just like to hear the administration's position again on that. >> first, with respect to portugal, i share your view that portugal is a wonderful friend. and not only a good partner in nato and so many other areas, but the source of a lot of portuguese-americans. culture, food, so much else. i will have to take those questions for the record, congressman, because i want to look into the two areas that you raised. but i want to assure you that we highly value our relationship with portugal. and we'll be very careful in making any decisions that would
affect the free flow of people and trade. secondly, i think if you look at the president's speech -- speeches, first last may at the state department and secondly before apac, there's a very clear set of understandings that the president lays out. and there was no reference to going back to the exact borders. i mean, it would be based on negotiation between israel and the palestinians. and it is anticipated that there would be a certain set of decisions that would have to take into account what has happened in the years since. but certainly from our perspective, looking at those speeches and looking at the reaction in israel, which was very positive to both of them together, and we obviously are pursuing with israel and the palestinians an effort to get
the negotiations restarted. because there is no shortcut. we support the two-state solution. we want to see it negotiated by the parties themselves. and it's turned out to be quite challenging to do that for a variety of reasons. but our position remains the same. that any final status issue ultimately has to be decided by the parties. we and others can put forth suggestions, recommendations and ideas about what would work. but it's a negotiation. and the negotiation has to be resolved by the two parties most affected. >> i totally agree with you, madam secretary. thank you for that reclarification. and i appreciate it. i'd just like to make a notation on my original point about the azors. there's a base there that is of strategic importance to us. it's really more appropriate to bring up with the secretary of defense. but i'll share it since i have this opportunity today.
our base at trasada in the azors is critical and is being -- the totality of the things that are coming to pass, the potential closing of punta del gada and the visa situation is having a view within that sphere of -- that we don't care any longer. i raise the issues in combination because i think it will strain relations. >> thank you so much, mr. cardoza. >> mr. mccaul? >> recently i led a delegation to pakistan, afghanistan and iraq. it was very, very interesting. we had a sit-down meeting with president zardari. a very frank discussion. he looked at us in the eye and said that he had no knowledge that bin laden was in his country. but we do know it's probably likely that lower level officials knew of his presence
in pakistan. then we had dr. freedy, who helped us over there. now he's in prison for treason as was pointed out earlier. they gave the chinese access to the helicopter that was left behind at the compound. and then finally, the connie network. we talked about the connie network. i asked for his support, as you have, very strongly in the past. asked for his support to go after the connie network. he said he doesn't play -- he goes after all terrorist organizations. not just the connie. however, last year we had the chairman of the joint chiefs, admiral mike mullen, testify that with isi support, the connie operatives planned and conducted a truck bomb attack as well as an assault on our embassy. we also have credible evidence that they were behind the june 28th attack against the intercontinental hotel in kabul and a host of other smaller but effective operations.
in short he said the connie network acts as an arm of pakistan's interservices intelligence agency. which takes me to my next question. we're giving all this foreign aid to a country that is come police sit in working with the terrorists who are killing americans. i understand all the implications. zardari referred to our relationship as like a bad marriage but divorce is not an option. but when it comes to the funding, we're looking at crafting legislation that would essentially require the state department to certify that they are not working with these networks, including hikani. if that cannot be certified the foreign aid will be cut off. i wanted to get your thoughts on that legal conclusion. >> well, i think, congressman, what president czzardari told y on behalf of the civilian leadership of the government of pakistan is true. he has been a good partner in
going after terrorism that threatens his country and afghanistan and our troops. we have no evidence of any high-level official knowing about bin laden. but, like you, i have to assume that lower level people, you know, had to have known something. but we haven't proven that. it could be asserted, but not yet proven. so this is a -- you know, this is a complicated, difficult relationship. and what we are doing now is making it very clear what our expectations have to be going forward. and there is no doubt in my mind that certain elements of the pakistani government are more ambivalent about cracking down on terrorism than other elements. when i sit across from the foreign minister or talk to the ambassador or talk to the prime minister and others, i think
they are very sincere. you know, they -- they know that the scourge of terrorism is killing pakistanis. zardari knows that terrorists killed his wife. and, yet, there has been relationships between terrorist groups and the military and the intelligence services for many decades. and what's unique now is that this democratically elected government has survived longer than any other democratically elected government. for the first time in the parliament, you have questions being asked of the military and the isi. you have the supreme court asking questions about actions of the military and the isi. so you see the strains and stresses of trying to have a civilian government in a democracy assert control over all elements of the government. and we want to continue to
support the democratic trend inside pakistan. so, you know, walking this line, trying to make sure what the levers we can pull are, where we can really put pressure, is -- is basically how i spend a lot of my time. and i take seriously the underlying thrust of your question. and i will carefully evaluate all factors when it comes time to make a decision. >> let me just say, thank you for -- you've been very strong about the hik narks i network. i think zardari is sincere in his efforts, but i don't think he has a lot of control over his own military and the isi. i think that's part of the problem. i would urge you to continue your efforts to get them to fight with us against these terrorists rather than be come police it with them. >> thank you so much. mr. cisilini is recognized. >> thank you for the thoughtfulness of your budget
proposal both in its fiscal responsibility and its diplomatic priorities. i thank you for that. i think and acknowledge all the men and women who serve under your leadership of the state department. you have helped really to restore america's position in the world as our ranking member said, as a partner for peace and democracy. and we are all grateful and thank you for your service. and we've had a lot of discussions today about various parts of the world that are of great concern, and particularly unsettled areas of great violence. i'd like to focus my inquiry on two areas really closer to home. the first is, i'll just articulate the questions and give you the balance of my time. the first is really about the sort of events in the middle east in general. in syria, in iran, in that region of the world. and its impact on our gas prices here in the united states. and i know that we -- in my home state, we've seen a tremendous increase in gas prices. and almost 40 cents from a year ago today.
and i'm wondering if you can speak to your perspective on how a variety of international events that you are closely monitoring might have an impact on fuel prices in the near term and also what we're doing both diplomatically and in terms of development efforts in the long term to ensure that gas prices are stabilized. or that, at least, in the long term they're mitigated. because i think, you know, we hear a lot about how this unrest is contributing to a rise in gas prices. some of us also know that the big part of it is speculation and gouging. and we're going to take up some legislation hopefully to address that. but i think events around the world are certainly impacting it and i'd love to hear your sper spective on that. the second thing i'd like to speak you, i hear about at home. rhode island is a huge manufacturing state. we're engaged in this whole make it in america agenda to rebuild and reintegrate american manufacturing. one of the challenges we face that i hear from rhode island
manufacturers is about the chinese and their behavior as trading partners and their manipulation of currency and their refusal to protect intellectual property and the challenges of their policies of indigenous innovation and technology transfers. and so i'm just -- i'd like to hear you speak to some of the state department's efforts dipmatically to really help even the playing field so that we can really rebuild american manufacturing in our country. again, thank you and i finally will associate myself with congressman cardoza's remarks on the azors and the importance of both of those issues. i'll submit for a written question relating to the turkish -- our efforts to ensure that the turks respect the christians and are respecting the churches and religious freedom in that country which i'll follow up with. thank you, madam secretary. >> thank you, congressman. with respect to gas prices, i think there is room for considering ways to rein in
speculation and gouging. yes, are there events that are happening in the world that raise questions? yes. but to the extent that it justifies or can explain the increase in the gas prices, i don't believe so. so therefore i -- i have long thought that there has to be some market mechanism that can be explored to try to break speculation that is unrelated. now if, you know, the iranians close the strait of hormuz, that would be a real event and we'd have to deal with it, but that would cause the market to obviously react. but right now there's talk in the air about all kinds of things, but there is no event. so i do think it's worth exploring the legislation that you referenced. with respect to manufacturing, this administration has brought more trade action against china, against unfair trade practices, against the theft of intellectual property.
and we will continue to do so. because we don't fear a level playing field. i have great confidence in businesses and workers of rhode island to be competitive with anybody. and the unfortunate theft of intellectual property, that makes competition one sided. and so this administration has taken a very aggressive approach on the defensive side. . on the offensive side, i just hosted a big conference at the state department where we had all the american chambers from around the world come in to talk about how we could do a better job. how we could also knock down those barriers, cut through that red tape. so we want to be deeply involved with our 1,000 economic officers
around the world and helping to open markets and create jobs here at home. we consider that part of what we call economic state craft. and i am very committed to it. >> thank you so much. judge poe is recognized. >> thank you, madame speaker. i have some questions regarding beef trade with taiwan, the u.s., given a fair shot in iraq, and about pakistan. and i ask consent to submit those for the record. >> without objection. >> thank you for being here. i know you have to leave. i want to talk about something we have always talked about when we discuss things. and it's the folks that live in the camp. they are being moved -- some are being moved to camp liberty. camp liberty now is a situation where there's not enough water. the sewage is a tremendous
problem. there's no electricity, people there are not allowed to see their family members, they're not allowed to see lawyers. some have compared camp liberty to a prison. rudy giuliani said it's not a prison, it's a concentration camp. so people are not being moved from camp ashra to camp liberty. and it's my goal just like i hope it's yours to get people out of iraq and get them somewhere in the world where they can be safe and be free and they can reunite with their families. we have two situations going on. the situation with the fdo is still an issue. it's been going on a long time. i have worked with your department trying to find out consistent. a consistent basis. is there new evidence? is there more evidence, why they should stay on the fdo?
one way or the other, what it is. been to every briefing in homeland security and it's your office has sponsored regarding the designation and why they're on it. and i'm not convinced they ought to stay on it. we continue to wait now so much so that even i think yesterday a lawsuit was filed again to get the state department to pick a horse and ride it as i like to say. meanwhile, during this time, there have been two situations in camp where people have died, others have been wounded by regardless of whose fault that has occurred. so there's no more people moving to camp liberty because of the conditions in camp liberty. and to my knowledge as of today, no one has left camp liberty to go somewhere else in the world. and so sincere as i can possibly
be, i'd like to know from you a couple of things. first, is the united states prepared to take any people from camp liberty? does the fto designation that they still have affect that in in way? and i'd like to preface that question with one other situation. last time i was in iraq, i met with maliki, but we asked him if we could visit the folks in the camp. and he says absolutely not. but the one thing he told all of us, the reason they are in the camp because your country designates them as an fto organization and we treat them like a foreign terrorist organization. so he dumped it back on our designation as the reason he was treating them the way he was treating them. he apparently got so irritated with us for even asking the question we learned when we left
his office that we had been evicted from the country. asked us to leave. of course, we did what we needed to do. it's a serious matter and so earlier you mentioned that the fto designation is tied to the camp and there being a paramilitary group. can you tell us where we are and if we're going to see resolution to getting this designation removed and getting the people in camp liberty humane conditions and move in the process to countries including the united states so these people can leave the area, which everybody wants to do? >> well, congressman, i appreciate your deep concern. i share it because we are trying to work to resolve a complex situation. avoid bloodshed and violence. and have the people from the
camp move to the camp hirea and have them processed as soon as the united nations could process them. i would have preferred having them processed at ashroff, that turned out impractical for a lot of reasons. and therefore the move now should open up and accelerated process for these interviews to be held and decisions made. we're working around the clock seeing improvements in the infrastructure. we have to close the camp in order to move this process forward. and it will be a key factor in any decision regarding the foreign terrorist organization status. >> thank you so much. >> according to the procedures, even though you've been a good
soldier and sat here the whole time, mr. murphy played it well and came here and he's next on the queue to ask the question. so i don't -- it's the last question. you want to share it? quick one and then mr. connolly too. thank you. >> thank you very much, madame secretary. i will be brief to allow mr. connolly to jump in, as well, before you leave. you've been generous with your time. i am one of a large number of folks here who are skeptical about our current timetable for a withdrawal from afghanistan. i'm surprised we haven't talked more about afghanistan today. and part of that skepticism comes from the fact that i'd like to see us spending a lot more time on the diplomatic and economic cooperation necessary to get afghanistan to a place where they can succeed on their own. and so i had a couple of questions related to that economic and diplomatic cooperation, but i'll ask one of
them. and it's on the economic side. you know, there's various numbers that come out suggesting that 80 to 90 to perhaps even as high as 97% of the afghan economy is dependent right now on international aid. and i'd love to get an update from you as how you see the timetable playing out over the next five years to make sure we withdrawal our military contingent that we leave behind a stable economy there and perhaps suggestions that you have for the united states congress as to things that we can do here to make sure we leave behind a stable economy. i'd like to see us pull out as quickly as possible on the military side. but i recognize we've got to make sure we don't leave an economy that collapses upon our withdrawal. and i think that that is something that we have not talked enough about as a congressman, i'd love your thoughts on that. >> thank you. mr. connolly, if you could ask a question. >> oh, okay.